fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million united states dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "00,000.00" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Qwezzy foundation old home center" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 16 Apr 2016 14:30:02 +0200
Subject: Notification of bequest this day the 16/04/2016
I wish to bring to your notice on behalf of the Trustees and Executor of the estate of Late Mrs. Brook Maria Anderson. The deceased made you a beneficiary to her WILL, being a widely traveled woman she must have been in contact with you in the past, related to you or simply you were nominated to her by one of her numerous friends abroad who wished you good.
You are indeed lucky to be one of the beneficiaries to the deceased WILL. She left the sum of Five Million United States dollars ($5, 000,000.00) to you in the codicil and last testament to her WILL and it is in fact true, genuine and will be executed legally according to law.
However, before processing your inheritance to enable fund transfer, we advise you verify your names, telephone number and residential address to enable us know we contacted the right person. Also send us a copy of your identification for proper verification and processing to email id: email@example.com or to assist you quicker be free to call on +27725714656.
Upon receipt, copy of the deceased WILL shall be send to you for your perusal then all due diligence process and procedure will effectively take place to enable your inheritance fund transfer to your nominated account.
Ms. Morales Aguirre
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